News & Analysis as of

Toxic Work Cultures are (Really, Really) Bad for Business: Tech Sector Missteps Serve as Reminders for Us All

Rarely do we see an industry of professionals engage in misconduct as egregious as what we are seeing today in the tech sector. The intoxicating cocktail of power, money and prestige has combined to put many female...more

EEOC Sues County Fair Farm for Sexual Harassment

Federal Agency Charges County Fair Farm With Subjecting Female Farmworkers to Groping, Verbal Abuse, Solicitations for Sex - BOSTON -- County Fair Farm, a farm and produce wholesaler located in Jefferson, Maine,...more

When Employees Solve Problems With Their Fists

Generally speaking, human resources professionals and business executives have become quite adept at dealing with employee claims for illegal harassment. For example, just about any HR manager can provide a definition of a...more

EEOC Sues Mel-K Management Company for Race- and Sex-Based Harassment and Retaliation

Manager Hurled Racial and Sex-Based Epithets at Workers, Fired a Harassment Victim for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges - CLEVELAND - Mel-K Management Company violated federal law by subjecting a class of employees...more

EEOC Sues Carolina Metal Finishing for Racial Harassment

Bishopville Plant Subjected African-American Employee to Racial Abuse and Fired Him for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges - COLUMBIA, S.C. - Carolina Metal Finishing, LLC, a Bishopville, S.C.-based metal finishing...more

EEOC Sues VXI Global Solutions for Systemic Sexual Harassment of Call Center Staff

Supervisors Openly Subjected Both Female & Male Staff to Constant Sexual Propositions, Graphic Pictures, Foul Language & Groping, Says Federal Agency - LOS ANGELES - VXI Global Solutions, a provider of call center...more

Court Throws Out "Me Too" Harassment Claims

One might think displays of Confederate flags and nooses, racial slurs and evidence of malicious graffiti and epithets is enough to establish a racially hostile work environment. However, a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of...more

EEOC Sues MountainKing Potatoes for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Supervisors Harassed Female Farmworkers Over Period of Time, Then Punished Them for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges - DENVER - MountainKing Potatoes, the name under which Smokin' Spuds, Inc. and Farming Technology,...more

Illinois Municipality Concludes Probe on Hostile Work Environment

Blowing the whistle does not always need to involve fraud and malfeasance. Sometimes a culture of apathy allows a hostile work environment to develop that can only be addressed with outside intervention. Employees and...more

Rampant Sexual Misconduct in Indiana Prison Shows Pitfalls for Employers

Believe it or not, this is not a scene from the new season of Orange is the New Black. It’s actually the opening lines from Orton-Bell v. Indiana, No. 13-1235 (7th Cir. July 21, 2014), an opinion authored by Judge Manion, and...more

Seventh Circuit Says One Use of “N-Word” Does Not Create Hostile Work Environment

Under Title VII, single acts of verbal abuse typically do not rise to the level of legally actionable harassment. Only when these behaviors are repeated over a discrete period of time will courts consider them to create a...more

The CIA’s Epic Failure in Protecting Employees: Culture of Accountability Begins with Mandatory Workplace Harassment Training and...

You’ve probably seen the multiple stories and blogs that were published last week on the sad state of the workplace at the CIA. I read this post on the PBS Newshour site, noting that 15 CIA employees were found to have...more

Two May Be Company, But Two Racial Slurs in Two Days is Not Enough for a Hostile Work Environment Claim

Often an employer is forced to defend a lawsuit filed by an employee complaining that he or she was subjected to a hostile work environment based on slurs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for...more

The Employment Law Authority - May/June 2014

In This Issue: - Immigration. New proposal aimed at attracting highly-skilled immigrants. - State Round-Up. Learn about the latest employment law news in your state. - Traditional. J. Hamilton Stewart and Matthew...more

Employment Law Update - Danger Ahead: Employer Liability For Third-Party Harassment

On April 29, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that employers can be liable for third-party harassment under a negligence standard. In doing so, the court joined other circuits in establishing that employers can...more

Fourth Circuit Rules that Employers Can be Liable for Third Party Harassment of Their Employees

In Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., 2014 WL 1678422 (4th Cir. April 29, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that an employer can be liable for third party harassment of its employees. The court...more

Lessons from the National Football League in the Workplace

Regardless of whether one is a Miami Dolphins or NFL fan, the recent investigation by the NFL regarding allegations of bullying involving Jonathan Martin may tell a precautionary tale for all employers. Briefly, Martin left...more

No Harassment, No Problem: Idaho Court Holds Harassing Comments May Still Support Liability for Negligent Infliction of Emotional...

A November 27, 2013 opinion from the Idaho Supreme Court reinstated a former Assistant Vice Principal’s claim seeking damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress. This decision highlights that allegedly harassing...more

Workplace bullying on the rise

When an NFL lineman makes allegations that one of his teammates bullied him, people notice. A big, strong lineman in the macho world of pro football is not someone people think would or could be affected by teasing, jokes and...more

Employment Newsletter - October 2013: U.S. Supreme Court Limits Who Qualifies as a “Supervisor” under Title VII

On June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court in Vance v. Ball State University, 133 S.Ct. 2434 (2013), issued one of the most important decisions on workplace harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act since it...more

Can Unpaid Interns Sue For Sexual Harassment? New York Court Says No Under City Law

On October 3, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed an unpaid intern’s hostile work environment, quid pro quo sexual harassment, and retaliation claims brought under the New York State...more

EEOC Sues Wells Fargo for Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

Female Manager Sexualized Workplace, Employee Forced to Quit to Escape, Federal Agency Charges - RENO, Nev. -Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. violated federal law when it allowed a manager and employee to create a sexually...more

EEOC Sues Rizza Cadillac of Tinley Park, Citing Harassment of Arab and Muslim Sales Staff

CHICAGO - Rizza Cadillac, Inc. of Tinley Park, Ill., a suburb south of Chicago, violated federal law by encouraging a work environment which was hostile and offensive to Muslim and Arab sales staff, the U.S. Equal Employment...more

At Least The Unicorn Won’t Sue You

When not writing about the legal issues raised by my favorite TV shows, most of this blogger’s Law Law Land blogs have involved either employment law or social media issues. So you can imagine my sheer delight when the news...more

EEOC Sues Memphis Foods for Sexual Harassment of 16-Year-Old Female Employee

Federal Agency Charges KFC Store Manager Discriminated Against Minor - MEMPHIS - Memphis Foods LLC, the owner of a Memphis KFC restaurant, violated federal law by subjecting a teenage employee to sexual harassment and...more

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